[Assetto Corsa] Irungattukottai, Chennai

I need to bear in mind this is the first sentence people see when this link gets shared.
Anyway, I’ve gotten quite stuck into modding Assetto Corsa over the past week, the workflow I’m using for the Sheffield map is similar to that of AC: using reference data from satellite imagery and streetmap data, and importing it into 3D.


The Cadwell track, after a curious search to see if there is one available was placed on a ‘someones done this already, and done a fantastic job of it – so I don’t need to (yet!)’ list.
Despite being a list with a very long name, it’s a very short list so far.

I recorded a little race around it, added some music to the replay and uploaded it.

I decided to look for a track that I couldn’t find, something new – and that’s where two of the creative projects I’m working on coalesced.

I’d set out to use free and open source software to build a playable track in Blender – and while I didn’t complete that with Cadwell, it did put me on the right track to actually making usable race circuits.
That’s what this post is about.

India ??

I went on a deep-dive of Indian motor racing circuits, and aside from the world-famous Buddh, I could find very little. This was the niche I was looking for.

I’ve started with the first other major circuit I could find, Madras Motor Race Track (Irungattukottai, Chennai) – and is one of a few circuits I have earmarked for a small India track and car mod pack.

The playlist (currently) has 4 videos of developing and testing Irungattukottai in Blender, and are mostly set to ambient music.

For your benefit, I’ve written this with hindsight – so I hope it saves you some time!

The first part we see is after I’ve downloaded the .osm (OpenStreetMap file) from where I’ve selected the region of the track.
I’ve used blender-osm to import the map data, and I’m now trying to figure out how to get it to run.

Once you have it imported, first thing I do is press 7 on the numpad in Blender to jump to Top view, and select the objects until you find the racetrack, and name it 1ROAD. Anything you name it after that (with no spaces) is entirely up to you. This is the track you will drive on.

I export the 3D file to .fbx and import it with ksEditor, part of the Assetto Corsa SDK, From here, allowing that my map is compliant, export it to the tracks folder in your Assetto Corsa directory.
If you are using Steam, it’ll be in:
C:\Program Files (x86)\Steam\steamapps\common\assettocorsa\content\tracks

A quick way to do this is to find the folder of any track you like, copy it and paste it into a new folder with the name of your track, and change everything in your new folder to suit your level.
Once you’ve exported your map to the .kn5 file format, drop it in this folder and make sure the file has the same name as the folder, and any textures you’ve used are in the tracks textures folder.

More to come

What I learnt

  • Everything needs a texture.
    If it doesn’t have one, it’s going to crash ksEditor
  • .dds (DirectDraw Surfaces) do not support layers.
    You can have transparency, but you can’t have multiple layers.
  • It’s best if your road is low resoultion mesh, high resolution imagery.
  • You will need Blender 2.7x
    Yes, going back to it feels like writing with your left hand, but the .kn5 exporter tool really is the best way of exporting your mesh.
    I found that using 2.9x and exporting to ksEditor only caused problems. Revert, revert to 2.7x, open the example track, and you’re on the way to a playable track.
  • Scale your UVs correctly
    I’d not scaled my grass textures correctly from high-res source photos, and the perspective it gave was that I was driving a car, but the size of an ant – each grass blade was the size of my car!
  • Make your track flat
    When I’d imported my track from my 2.8x experimentation with ksEditor, I’d solidifed the track so that it was 3D and had depth.
    I found though, when importing into 2.7x, hitting the side of the meshes depth sent the car into an uncontrollable spasm.
    The track has to be flat. 1 pixel (to the chefs amongst us, that’s one layer of onion skin).
  • If you use the example file from the Blender KN5 Exporter, use it as an example file, and then delete it
    When you playthrough, the intersection between the example racetrack, and your imported racetrack – it causes glitches will cause you to spin out, and fall into invisible potholes.
    It took me until Part 4 to realise this.
  • Use a UV grid. Google images ‘UV Grid’.
    Find a high resolution version, and apply it to everything.
    It makes a great placeholder image, and you can see exactly where to edit when you want to colour the texture.

Car skinning

No such luck, synapses are firing on all cylinders,
I’ve cancelled an important VLC update for the sake of a screenshot, and now when I try to open anything with it, its only use is a strobe light.

When I run the game, I start at a 2:00 angle, which leads me to beleive that the empty to represent AC_PIT_0 is at a strange (or unsupported) angle.

While playing the lap from the OSM import, I’d timed that I was completing the laps in around 45 seconds, which is obviously ridiculously fast – so I scaled the track to be twice the size, and it now seems to work – and would probably make a good Drift track.

I’ve not completed a full track yet, because:
– there’s no kerbs
– the start position is on the grass
– I’m quite sure that since I doubled the size of the track, the timer markers are in the wrong place.

For now, I’m stuck in the pit, I can see the wall above me that I’d just made – and I can’t move, because I haven’t given the pit floor mesh a pit texture.

So this area here is the pit-lane, and behind this would be the stadium area where spectators are sitting.

Madras Motor Race Track Plans To Host Night Races - carandbike
One iconic landmark of the track that absolutely will not be excluded is the MRF Tyres tyre arch, the start line and multi-storey viewing platforms.

Continuing on from the Pitlane after this tyre ends is a wall with a glass divider, like the ones in the picture above.

This is the wireframe of where the pitlane re-joins the racetrack.
Madras Motor Race Track - Wikiwand
The end of this is actually where the Tyre is, and it reaches from one side of the track, behind a barrier to the outermost point of the pitlane.

By this point, the car would have re-joined the circuit, and the track above is part of the maintance route, which the Ligier Maintenance Vehicle from the video(s) above would drive on.
Both barriers are solid walls with viewing windows above them.

MRF Towers

I don’t know if that’s their real name, but they’re a prominent and majestic outlook onto the track. I clearly know which companies logo to find a hi-resolution image of, and aim towards something like this.
Interestingly, the tyre is not where I would expect it to be from the screenshot above; which is odd, since the tyre bears the MRF logo.

My point for this is the two MRF towers just past the start-line, they’re 1x and 1.5x the size of each other, and the top floor is an actual viewing platform – so it’s a great place to put a camera (or two!).
If you’re feeling creative, you could create a camera, and put a sofa scene infront of it to show people watching from their couch inside of their hotel room!

MMRT upgraded facilities revealed as owners eye Asian-level races

While it is possible to complete a track, the kerbs and run-offs are not in place to help with corners (and I ran most of the racetrack backwards, and was not penalised).
This is next.

[Building] Pubs I miss: The Dove and Rainbow

Please note:
This is still ongoing and is being updated regularly, so the post has been stickied, recent articles added to the blog will appear below this one.

This video is long! 1hr 39 in fact, a homage to one of my favourite bars in Sheffield, The Dove and Rainbow: for some reason a preview image isn’t generated for this video, but it does (currently) play!

If you’ve been here before, you’ll recognise that map; and I can say I felt ready to work on this again – re purposing my methodology of selecting building assets to fit the times.

The Dove and Rainbow is a rock bar in the city centre, hidden away behind Bankers Draft and accessible either via the alley next to Argos.
It has a friendly atmosphere and great drinks (no, I’m not affiliated!)

In the video, I start from the appropriate mesh on the Sheffield map in Blender, and press / on the numerical keypad to isolate that object, and the reference image: this is so my view isn’t obstructed by other buildings in the scene.

A very early clip from the Video Sequence Editor (left) and the actual scene (right)
The turquoise clip at the bottom is audio, the blue are video clips, and the green boxes above them are speed control modifiers, where I’ve sped some of the footage up 2x.

The Reddit Post

I made one post about this on a community that I thought would share the appreciation, the r/Sheffield subreddit.
I’m not going to link them directly, if you are familiar with Reddit, I trust your ability to find the subreddit if you so wish to become a part of the community.

The original thread is here – please note, I’m only linking it here for transparency of the story that transpired through posting this.
You can see from the thread that u/Evilsquits (yes, I know – I thought I was the only Theme Hospital player who had adapted this term, too) had expressed an interest in running the model through slicer software (3D printing).
The user (I’m in no position to assume gender, and calling them evilsquits throughout feels very r/rimjob_steve because by god, for a user with such a horrific username, the help the help they provided for an entire evening was beyond wholesome, and it was such an honour.

I will not show you the private conversation I had with youknowwho because that’s private between us, but I will show the screenshots of emails I’d sent to them updating the .obj files.

The original version I sent had non-manifold mesh.
Non-manifold is data that is to be printed, but not actually connected to anything – so the printer will not print it.
I re-inspected the model, and found that the 3D text for the building frontage was not actually connected to the …veranda? is that the word?
Anyway, I brought that block forward so it intersected with the text and made one actual object.
3D Print Toolbox reported that it was non-manifold, so lets try it…

‘the texturing is all UV’ – so in laymans terms, UV is like origami, say you want to fold a Swan, you download and print a picture of a Swan, and by the folds and the creases – it looks right, but it’s still 2D: the texture is still on paper so has no real-world depth.
I took the window frames and extruded them very slightly, so that they had actual geometry.

We’d gotten talking about Old Queens Head, u/evilsquits had recognised me from an earlier post, the Sheffield game we’ve been talking about on here a lot. I already had Old Queens Head ready because I fricking love that pub!
Anyway, we discovered that the model worked great, until I went to make the mesh non-manifold, so that it could be 3D printed

Which got us thinking, this could be a happy accident – what if we could make it so the roof clips off, and you have an actual floor plan of the pub below.
That idea was interesting and exciting to us, so we deciced to look at ways where the mini-sculpture would be functional as well

Below was the detatchable roof, we had another idea which we thought would be reet cool, but aren’t going to say until we master it.

My last email was this, though I have heard from the redditor that so generously gave their time (and they gave an entire evening!) and filament to try and print a 3D model another redditor had sent them.
(this is why Reddit is the only social media I partake in)


I am not a Facebook user; I have conditioned myself to treat social media like a drug, and as much as I would love to use social media to garner traction, I can’t bring myself to come back to using it again.
This is where Sayanti comes in, Sayanti (Moumita) aspires to be famous, and managing my social media PR is absolutely ideal for me.

I don’t check Facebook, so the only way I’d know if it was posted on Facebook would be by looking at my Analytics data.
As you can see from the screenshot below, 3.6 hours of this video have been watched in total: that’s longer than it took to make (just!) so any viewing activity from here on in is a win:win.

Far be it from me to humblebrag, but you can see from the analytics screenshot the approximate time it was posted to the r/Sheffield subreddit.

Previously, a large portion of our fanbase were Bengali speakers, but due to the double tragedy they have had with Supercyclone Amphan, amidst a Coronavirus pandemic, we still want to show solidarity, but appreciate that watching videos on YouTube is not their priority right now.


I approached u/evilsquits and asked for consent, so if you are reposting this as your own clickbait content, we’d appreciate the nod too.

And yes, u/evilsquits, you really did do something.
You inspired hope within me, and your viewing activity and karma formed part of a sharp curve that confirmed that I was on the pulse of what people want – and yes, Old Queens Head is next (again)

I’ve not seen a photo yet, but as soon as I do – you know it’ll be posted here.
u/evilsquits – if you’re reading this, we’d love to see the 3D printed version next to a 5 pence piece for scale.

I now have the photos and I’m so pleased to share them with you:




I've tried to adjust it to match, those proportions bend the original model out of shape - so I've tried to lock the scale to preserve it.

There's the solid block roof, and the one with a detachable roof: does that need to be attached to the object so it'll print it?

On 02/06/2020 21:21, squits wrote:
Manifold is what you sent me, as you can possibly maybe see is it's skewed and really tiny
Actual is how I printed it, flattened on it's back and probably 700% larger. Once I save it as a gcode file I can't tell
Manifold is reported as x=9.8939 y=6.1616 z=5.8783
Actual is roughly x=47 y=29 z=14

We’d found that emailing back and forth had become cumbersome and impeded our workflow, we needed something more in sync.

With the roof and the building to be printed as separate objects, they would need to be their own .obj files.
So in the dropbox, I have them saved as dove-and-rainbow-roof-scaled-3 and dove-and-rainbow-roof-scaled-3b (.obj and .mtl).
The .mtl controls the texture co-ordinates and is generally supplied with an obj, though in this case it wouldn’t actually be needed to print.

Mention on the Dove and Rainbow Facebook

The Dove and Rainbow were kind enough to mention us on their Facebook page!

What an honour! They mentioned us on their Facebook! ?

I notified squits and it drove us back into action, via our primary form of communication – Reddit Chat:


The next day

I received word from evilsquits that the new images were up on the imgur link:

We’d got chatting again and drawn into completing it. I’ll paraphrase:
evilsquits thought they were better but the name still didn’t come out clearly enough: and it’s at an angle. Still no sign.

He had two design tips that we went with:

if the name was the full width of the building and say double height it would definitely print it
if you want to make things really easy, chop the whole back and sides off so it's a plaque

btw that took 1h 59m 28s, 8 metres of filament weighing 25 grams

Photo credit: evilsquits